View Full Version : Cats baking bread

01-25-2008, 08:49 PM
This one, as well as most I've known, has a habit before she settles down. She'll knead my shoulder or belly for maybe two or three minutes, unsheathing her claws. She doesn't do it if lying down on a chair or a sofa or the floor. It's kind of endearing, unless I'm wearing a t-shirt.

I'd always heard it was a habit from kitten hood, when they'd knead their mother's teat to get the milk flowing. Anyone know the real scoop?

P.S. Sorry if it's a boring question, Paul, but inquiring minds want to know!

01-25-2008, 08:55 PM
It's a power/domination thing, she's just letting you know who's boss

01-25-2008, 09:30 PM
Weaned too early. Should not be taken from mother until mother kicks them out. They will not knead if weaned by mom. Domestic short hairs about 2+ months. Some purebreds can go up to 4 months before mama gets fed up and kicks them out.

Keith Wilson
01-25-2008, 11:15 PM
I dunno - just about every cat I've ever had has kneaded a bit when they're being rubbed. Jack, you're right about it being something kittens do on mom. I think incessant kneading may be a sign of being weaned early, but none of mine were (not sure about one) and they still do it occasionally. My guess is that they do it when they're feeling sort of regressed - infantile, warm, content, and well taken care of.

Buddy Tabor
01-26-2008, 07:42 AM
Never seen a cat that didnt do it. I think the kicked off the teat to early theory is a load of..... um crap. I wasnt and I still need em.

01-26-2008, 07:52 AM
Because 'Wumpous wandered in as an adult I have no clue to her kitten hood. She's not obsessive about it, just a couple minutes of purrs and arched back and kneading. It is rather endearing, so long as I've got a thick enough shirt on. It does seem, like Keith said, an experience of comfort and trust.

She's funny. She's gotten a bit soft as she's become older. Used to be she'd go out in almost any weather, but with this cold and snow we've been having she'll ask out, take a sniff and a look, shake her head(really) and head back inside for a tear around the joint. Cabin fever has settled in! She'll still go out, but usually stays pretty close.

Had a Maine Coon Cat in the driveway yesterday. Big! He marked territory at the head of the drive and sauntered off. I think 'Wumpous has learned when to retreat because there haven't been any battle wounds lately.

Cheers, fellow cat lovers.

01-26-2008, 02:30 PM
My dog kneads my comforter. She grabs a big wad of it between her paws, shoves a bunch in her mouth, then kneads and sucks on the thing till I stop her and tell her that's weird.


01-26-2008, 03:22 PM
Never seen a cat that didnt do it. I think the kicked off the teat to early theory is a load of..... um crap. I wasnt and I still need em.

We all need them. We're priviledged if we knead them as well.

Flying Orca
01-26-2008, 03:31 PM
It's called milk treading, it IS leftover kitten behaviour, and as far as I know all cats do it, but I've noticed females do it more than males.

Peter Malcolm Jardine
08-13-2011, 07:28 PM
I didn't know that!